The Outstanding Blogger Award

Hello! Today we’re here with a tag, for you to get to know us better! Naemi @ A Book Owl’s Corner tagged us in the Outstanding Blogger Award, and she asked such great questions that we just had to answer them immediately! So instead of us blathering on, let’s just get right to the questions Naemi asked, and what our answers are!

The Rules:

  • Link to the creator’s original award post.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Create 7 unique questions.
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers. Neither the award’s creator nor the blogger that nominated you can be nominated.
  • At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

1. You get tasked with creating a required reading list for your country’s national curriculum. Which book would you add first, and why?


I had a really difficult time with this question. After all, there are so many different grades, and different stories will speak to different people. I went through Goodreads to think up books that I thought were entertaining, but that could still have educational value in terms of the literary quality. And while there definitely were contenders, nothing struck me. 

Schitts Creek Comedy GIF by CBC

That is, until I realized that I could specialize this prompt. So the book I would make required reading for my country’s national curriculum would specifically apply only to those entering a medical related field. So that includes medical school, but also psychology programs, biomedical engineering programs like my own, etc. And I would leave some room for variation, by suggesting two books by the same author. I think they both have so much value, but one book might be more suited to a specific field of study over the other. 

Those two books are Complications: A Surgeon’s Guide to An Imperfect Science and The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right both by Atul Gawande. I think these books are great in general, but what I love most is how they talk about messing up, and how that’s inevitable, but also what you can do to make messing up a less frequent occurrence. So basically, to sum up my really long rant, since I can’t actually make this a part of any curriculum, I implore all of you to pick it up instead!


One book that I think everyone should read is Pet by Emezi Akwaeke. There are so many amazing themes in this book about monsters, humanity, and if it’s possible for a true utopia to exist. It’s so well written and it really makes you think.

2. What do you most look forward to doing when the pandemic is over?


Travelling again. (I say as if I was a world traveler). I’ve gone on so many fantastic trips and I’d love to go even more new places to have a fun time with friends. I think that I’m looking forward to traveling so much because it would allow me to do the two things I’ve been missing most because of COVID-19, which is seeing my friends regularly, and finding and exploring new and interesting places.

Excited Road Trip GIF by PBS KIDS


I’m just excited for simple things, like being able to sit and study in coffee shops! Strangely enough I also miss commuting. Weird. 

3. If you desperately needed warmth and only had books on hand, which one would you sacrifice to light a fire?


My instinctive answer is to go with a book I hate, but the one that comes to mind is both short and well loved. So I’m going to go with Game of Thrones. I’ve never read the books (or watched the show), nor do I plan to, but they’re all very thick books, meaning they would keep the fire going for a while, and I’d have no problem burning any one of them since I have no personal connection to the series. 


Mein Kampf. I don’t know why I would ever have that on hand but I’d burn a billion copies of that. 

Book Burn GIF by BBC

4. Which really cool skill would you love to master one day?


I’m instead going to show off a skill that I recently mastered. If you’ve read my post about how blogging taught me geography, this is a sort of update. I decided that learning about different countries from the stats page alone wasn’t enough, and so last week I spent waaaaay too much time learning how to recognize and name the flags of different countries and territories. I’ve had a lot of fun texting my friends to send me random flag emojis and answering them with the name of the place pretty much instantly. So if you want to verify my skill, feel free to say hi and DM me a flag on Instagram, and I’ll respond! (I’d do this in the comments, but then my response wouldn’t be instant, so there could be a doubt that I just looked up the flag. DMs are more instantaneous).

flags hispanic GIF by GIPHY Studios Originals


I really want to get better at/learn more languages! I’m at this weird point where I speak one language fluently (boring English) but then I have varying levels of fluency in like 3 other languages? I want to get better at French and learn Arabic to be able to speak with my grandparents, and I also feel like after 12 years of school I should be a lot better at Hebrew than I am (also almost all my close friends are fluent so it’s definitely a language I feel like I need to get better at). 

5. Name a book you haven’t read yet but are really excited for!


Let me share some of the 2021 releases that I can’t wait to read with you! These are all ones I’m really excited for and that I’m hoping I get granted on NetGalley! (I also love how the colors all blend together so nicely!

But if this question was asking about books that I already have on my shelves, then I can’t wait to read The Starless Sea once I’ve finished with my semester!


Oooh, so just from a few books on my list that are out but I haven’t read yet, A Memory Called Empire, The First Sister, and The Burning God. 

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45857086. sy475

6. If you could travel back to one point in time, when and where would you go?


I honestly don’t want the ability to travel in time. My past is filled with ups and downs, but I like that they’re all now memories that I can pull up at my discretion. I think reliving the experience would take some magic out of my favorite memories! As for general time periods in history? None of them really appeal to me. I’d be persecuted in most places and times, and wouldn’t have the freedom to pursue my scientific interests. So I’ll just stay right here in the present, thank you!

the flash timey wimey GIF by The Paley Center for Media


Hmm yeah, I love history but I know that there aren’t a lot of times/places in the past where I would want to go just based on like Malka said about general persecution, and also, would I want to be in a time with no running water? Probably not. One place I’d love to just glimpse would be 15th century BCE, the “ancient” civilizations are fascinating and I’d love to be able to see them. 

7. What’s an interesting fact about you that many of your followers probably don’t know?


My mind went completely blank when I read this question. I feel as though I’ve shared all the things that are remotely interesting about me in previous tags. So forget interesting, we’re just gonna go for a straight up random fact right now, even though it’s not really that interesting. How about the fact that I adore earrings? I have a whole collection that I’ve acquired over the years and one of the first things that I do when I get a new outfit is make sure I have a pair of earrings to match it!


I genuinely can’t think of a single interesting thing about me.

stan against evil GIF by IFC

What books are you excited for that you haven’t read yet? What cool skill would you love to master one day?


26 thoughts on “The Outstanding Blogger Award

  1. Ooh, congrats! 🎉🥳 These were interesting answers, especially the book burning one 🙂 I can’t lie, the only book I have ever thought of burning was Harry Potter and The Cursed Child! I love Harry Potter and that book just ruined it for me, so I have officially disowned it from my mind 🤣😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gaaah, you’ve dredged up terrible memories! I completely blocked out how bad Harry Potter and the Curse Child was 😭 I remember being so excited for that book and then it just disappointed so much.


  2. Thanks so much for participating! 😊 I loved both of your answers, and my “books I’m interested in” list just got a great deal longer!! 😂

    I also relate so much to wanting to travel and sit in coffee shops again. Those’ll probably also be some of the first things I’ll do once we’re all vaccinated and the pandemic hopefully fades into history.

    And I’m glad I’m not the only one who is obsessed with language learning or finally memorizing some basic geography due to blogging stats! Though I don’t think I’m good enough to put that knowledge to the test yet… 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for tagging us! And I’m so happy we could add books to your TBR!

      Yes! Just doing something other than attending classes from my bedroom would be so nice! A change of scenery in any form would be lovely! And I feel like I’ll end up doing something really anti-climactic once restrictions are lifted. I think it will take me a few weeks or months until I feel comfortable interacting with the world normally again, and by that point I’ll have already done a whole bunch of little things that I couldn’t do when the pandemic was raging.

      Honestly, I’m ashamed of how awful my geography was before I started blogging! And it’s still not great, but now that I know all the flags, I think it will be easier for me to start matching flags and names with locations on a map!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gosh yes, online classes are the worst! I’m actually back at university now – albeit with a mask and heavy social distancing restrictions – and that already feels so much better than last semester did! Though the way cases are rising, I doubt it’ll stay that way for long 😅 So I’m sure I’ll also have plenty of time to forget how human interaction works, too 😉

        And same! I wasn’t too bad at European and American geography because we did a lot of that at school, but my pre-blogging knowledge of Asia, Africa and especially islands was mortifyingly terrible 🙈 So you’re definitely not alone!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who hasn’t taken an interest in Game of Thrones. Although I think that my reasoning about their size is a good enough excuse to burn them regardless of whether or not I’ve read them!

      I’m embarrassed at how bad my geography was before I started blogging. Now it’s a lot better, in the sense that I know the general areas that most countries occupy, but now that I can match a flag to a name, I think I’ll be able to learn the exact locations of different countries as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations!
    I love the fact that blogging stats made you better at geography, Malka! Now I want to test my flag skills too. 😂
    Chana, I also really want to learn languages. The only foreign language I’m fluent in is English, and I really want to learn some more, like Spanish!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 💕

      It really did! Although that’s not saying much because my geography skills before I started blogging were absolutely atrocious! And if you’re serious about testing your flag skills, I have some great sites that I used to quiz myself on my flag knowledge! (Was I taking these quizzes during class? Perhaps. Was it worth it? Yes!)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. So this here is my favorite site to learn flags. It sort of throws you into the deep end, but at the top of the page it links each country to Wikipedia so you can always look up the flag for any country you don’t recognize.

          The link above is the most intense version, where it has over 250 countries and territories for you to choose from. However, if you scroll down, you’ll find options to refine by continent and such. I would start there and then work up to the more comprehensive challenges, like the UN one and such.

          Hope you find it helpful! Let me know if you end up using the site!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you! I already played four games before replying and I have a lot to learn. 😅 I was so good at geography but I forgot a lot unfortunately.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. This was such a fun post. 😀 I’m super excited for The Burning God – and also SCARED, I heard that the ending is emotional. Haha, I used to collect earrings! I had SO MANY at one point, and I still have most of them, though they are now stuffed into a box together. I really fell out of love with them at one point, so I didn’t wear any for quite a while… and then my ear piercing closed up. 😐 Well, one of them, at least. I should get it pierced again, but I’m too scared to do it, lmao.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg I’m SO SCARED I just got my copy yesterday and half of me wants to read it over the weekend and the other half of me wants to stay as far away as possible 😭 Ahh, my ear piercings have closed up before too! I love earrings but I usually always lose mine and then forget to wear them, but getting them repeirced takes super quick especially if they use a piercing gun!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations! Good post, it’s always fun to hear more about the bloggers so you can get some context for their perspectives. I would also love to see ancient civilizations, especially Greece. I think it’s fascinating that so much of contemporary science, art, and political thought is based on their contributions and it would be really cool to witness that culture of learning.
    As for the Atul Gawande recs, I feel a bit remiss that I haven’t touched them yet even though I’ve read pretty widely in the doctor memoir genre. Definitely going to pick one up when I get a chance. Also, for anyone who thinks the genre is just for those who love science and medicine, I agree with Malka that they have broad human implications. Many of the great ones I’ve read are touching and heroic in the way they address issues like family, death, love, and the incredible human capacity for empathy. So I’d probably put something similar on that list…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think that one of the most interesting things about actually seeing ancient civilizations for me, would be to see what history got wrong or misconstrued. I’m curious what false beliefs got worked into contemporary culture by chance!

      Read them! And then chat with me about them! And I totally agree. While I happen to enjoy science and medicine (as evidenced by my major), I think that these books are great even for those that aren’t interested in medicine as much because of the broader themes that you mentioned. After all, everyone messes up. This exploration of messing up is just told through the medical lens!


  6. Ah I loved reading this so, so much, these questions are fantastic and I loved your answers!
    I can’t wait to travel again as well. I just miss it so, so much, I crave it SO much right now ahhhhhh. So many wonderful places to explore. ❤ And Malka, I LOVE that color scheme with the 2021 releases, it looks too perfect ahah. I can't wait to read Rachel Lynn Solomon's book, it sounds incredible. ❤
    And Chana, that last GIF is a mood, i can't ever think of anything interesting about me when asked the question hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really were fantastic questions, which made it so much fun to answer them!

      Yes! I miss travelling so much! Even if it’s just somewhere I haven’t been in the US, or a fun road trip to a place I have visited before, I miss the feeling of excitement that accompanies a fun trip to someplace exciting and new!

      Honestly, the color scheme might have been why I chose these particular 4 books! They all are on my most anticipated list, true, but so are many others. How pretty they all look together was a big deciding factor when picking out the books I wanted to mention!

      And yes! I can’t wait for Rachel Lynn Solomon’s works in 2021! I’m so excited that we’re getting 2 releases from her in one year!


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